Uchumi Supermarkets, commonly called as Uchumi, is a Kenyan supermarket chain. Uchumi means economy in Swahili. Uchumi, which has its headquarters in Kenya, has its outlets distributed throughout East Africa. It is planning to open 12 more branches in the next 12 months and expects its sales to rise by a third to Ksh. 18 billion.
While its sales grew to KSh. 13.9 billion in the year ending June as compared to KSh.10.7 billion last year, its profit dropped by a third to KSh. 273 million due to operating costs. The rise in the operating costs can be attributed to the opening of the three new markets – one in Tanzania, three in Uganda, and two in Kenya.
Jonathan Ciano, the CEO of the retail chain said that that the company which had recovered after being shut down for a month in mid 2006 due to insolvency planned to open another eight branches in Kenya, one more in Tanzania, and three in Uganda in the coming year.
A study by Citigroup acknowledged East Africa as the next growth frontier for South Africa retailers as well as some of the world’s biggest investors who wanted to cash in on the rising consumer demand. Kenya has the second most developed retail market in sub-Saharan Africa with about 30 per cent of retail shopping being done in formal outlets.
Massmart, the retail giant of South Africa is planning to open a shop in Kenya – the store will be opened at the upcoming property-dubbed Garden City on the Thika super highway near Nairobi in 2014. Courts, the largest consumer electronics and furniture retailer of Mauritius plans to open its first mainland Africa store in Kenya by the end of November.